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Homeowner in disbelief after landlord next door kills 70-year-old rose bush: 'Good fences make good neighbors'

This story highlights an issue faced by many renters nationwide.

This story highlights an issue faced by many renters nationwide.

Photo Credit: iStock

A Redditor's post about their 70-year-old rose bush being destroyed by a neighbor's landlord has ignited a conversation about the challenges that renters face in living sustainably.

The post, made in the r/treelaw community, details how the Redditor's great-grandmother planted the rose bush in the 1950s on property that has been in their family since 1948.

The poster's husband came home from work to find the neighboring landlord mowing against their garage, claiming his property extended to 6 inches from the structure.

"I knew that not to be the case," the Redditor wrote. "Dad always told me it's about 2 feet out from the garage."

After involving a surveyor, they confirmed the property line is 2.5 feet from the garage, while the rose bush had been just 6 to 8 inches from it. The landlord claimed there was no rose bush at all.

This story highlights an issue faced by many renters nationwide — landlords preventing them from adopting eco-friendly practices like gardening. Growing your own flowers, fruits, and vegetables is a great way to save money at the store while helping bees and other pollinators thrive. But far too often, landlords restrict these planet-friendly activities.

The Redditor shared that they have timestamped photos of the landlord on their property, the damaged rose stump, and the hacked branches in the landlord's trash can. Commenters urged the poster to file a police report and consult a tree lawyer, but the Redditor expressed concerns about legal costs and their lack of "before" photos of the bush.

Fellow Redditors responded with messages of support and advice.

"Good fences make good neighbors," one wisely quipped.

"I would also rescue the chopped parts of the rose and see if you can propagate it," recommended another.

A third suggested, "Start with a police report for trespass and property destruction."

While we may not all have 70-year-old rose bushes, this story is a reminder of the challenges we face in trying to live more sustainably and the importance of working together as a community to overcome them. By supporting each other and working with our landlords to change bylaws, we can make sustainable living accessible to all.

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